Current Events Has Zoro Been Nerfed All Along?

(Poll questions are in the OP)

  • Q1: Yes

  • Q1: No

  • Q2: Yes

  • Q2: No

  • Q3: Yes

  • Q3: No


Results are only viewable after voting.

Cinera

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#1
Disclaimer
I tag a lot of people from my posts. If you want to be removed from my tag lists, let me know. Likewise if you want to be added.


Introduction
Zoro has been exceptionally devoted to his role as Luffy's bodyguard during the Rooftop fight. Protecting Luffy has been Zoro's priority, and roughly 90% of all Zoro's actions have been in the course of protecting Luffy. In fact, the only action Zoro took that wasn't taken in the course of protecting Luffy was his initial Rengoku Oni Giri:


Many people have argued that all of Zoro's feats on the Rooftop against Kaido has been on Kaido that wasn't solely focused on Zoro as his opponent. That may be true, but people fail to acknowledge that the entirety of Zoro's performance on the Rooftop so far has been by a Zoro that has not been solely focused on trying to take down the Yonkou. Again, I must stress this, but ~90% of all the actions Zoro took on the Rooftop have been in his role as Luffy's bodyguard. Neither Kaido nor Mama have actually faced a Zoro that was completely dedicated to offence.


Zoro the Bodyguard
Below is a compendium of all the times Zoro has protected Luffy during the Rooftop battle. I will order the events in chronological order of chapters, and group them according to the aggressor.


Chapter 1001
Vs Kaido
Zoro did not save Luffy from Kaido in the chapter.

Vs Mama
Zoro saved Luffy once from Mama in the chapter.

After Luffy barely dodged Kaido's Thunder Bagua, Mama tried to strike him when he was of guard with Heavenly Fire:

Zoro intervened and cut through Prometheus with Homurasaki:

This left Prometheus temporarily unable to fuse back together. Luffy was overjoyed at Zoro's intervention:

Zoro then chastised Luffy for letting his guard down:

Conclusion
Zoro saved Luffy once in Chapter 1001.


Chapter 1002
Vs Kaido
After Luffy saved Killer from Kaido's chomp, Kaido tried to strike Luffy with a point-blank Boro Breath:

Zoro immediately reacted and took charge of the situation. He ordered Law to give him a mobility boost:

Law reluctantly complied:

Zoro cut Kaido's Boro Breath with another Homurasaki:

Luffy was once again overjoyed at Zoro's assistance:

Zoro didn't let up and tried to counter-attack with Hiryuu Kaen:

Unfortunately, Mama warned Kaido to evade:

Thhe attack missed, but it's immense power was still displayed:

Vs Mama
Zoro didn't save Luffy from Mama in the chapter.

Conclusion
Zoro saved Luffy once in Chapter 1002.


Chapter 1003
Luffy exhausted himself against Kaido with his Kong Gatling and was thus left defenceless:

Zoro had to be protecting Luffy for a disproportionate amount of time as a result (protecting Luffy was literally all Zoro did in the chapter).

Vs Kaido
Kaido unleashed his Tatsumaki on all the Supernova:

Kidd was surprised by it, and Zoro compared it to a natural disaster:

Zoro caught Luffy during the storm and Luffy expressed his gratitude:

However, Zoro let his guard down and they were later separated, with Kaido taking the opportunity to bite on the defenceless Luffy:

This motivated Zoro to action and he moved to counter with his own Tatsumaki:

His attack badly cut Kaido up and had him coughing up blood for several panels:

He also neutralised Kaido's Tatsumaki, thus protecting the other Supernova.

Kaido laughed in joy that Zoro could counter his Tatsumaki with another Tatsumaki:

He challenged Zoro by unleashing a (presumably) even more powerful attack: "Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction":

However, Zoro ignored Kaido's challenge and focused on dodging the wind slashes while carrying Luffy:

Vs Mama
Mama tried to attack Luffy with her "Motherly Fire", but Zoro jumped in picked up Luffy and dodged her attack:

She struck again in the background, but Zoro was able to either evade or block her attack:

Zoro saved Luffy twice from Mama in the chapter.

Conclusion
Zoro saved Luffy five times in this chapter (thrice from Kaido and twice from Mama).


A Nerfed Zoro
Zoro has been nerfed, in the sense that he's ignored offensive opportunities to focus on protecting Luffy:
  • He only launched Hiryuu Kaen as a counter to Kaido's Boro Breath.
  • He only launched Kokujo Ou Tatsumaki to rescue Luffy after Kaido had chomped on him.
  • He ignored the challenge Kaido directly posed at him with Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction.

Kaido challenged Zoro directly with Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction. Zoro could have tried to counter that attack. Instead, he completely ignored Kaido's challenge and ran away with Luffy. This was an offensive opportunity that Zoro directly let go because he was babysitting Luffy.

How many other attacks has Zoro not taken because he was so devoted to protecting Luffy? How many more opportunities has he let go?

The opportunity cost of protecting Luffy has been Zoro sacrificing several opportunities to attack Mama or Kaido.

Even aside from the counterfactual attacks that Zoro let go, a majority of the other attacks he launched were only launched when protecting Luffy:
  • Hiryuu Kaen
    • It was launched as a counter to the Boro Breath Kaido used to try and take down Luffy.
  • Kokujo Ou Tatsumaki
    • It was launched to rescue Luffy from being eaten by Kaido.
The only attack Zoro took independently from his role of protecting Luffy was his initial Rengoku Oni Giri.

Had Zoro not needed to save Luffy those two times, he would probably have never launched those attacks. Zoro has mainly gone on the offensive when it was necessary to rescue Luffy. This reiterates again, that Zoro's top priority has been protecting Luffy.


Interlude: Yamato
That Zoro's devotion to protecting Luffy is a significant hindrance to his combat abilities has been lampshaded during Yamato's confrontation with Sasaki and his troops:


Sasaki questions if Yamato sees him as someone so weak that she believes she can beat him while protecting Momonosuke and Shinobu. He's insulted that she believes she can beat him while her combat abilities are so restricted.

Protecting Luffy has not encumbered Zoro as much as protecting Momonosuke and Shinobu encumbered Yamato, but it was still a significant restriction on the combat ability Zoro could bring to bear against the two Yonkou.

Most of the other Supernova have defeating Kaido and/or Big Mom as their top priority. Zoro alone has made protecting another Supernova his top priority. This is a significant restriction that only Zoro is operating under.


Conclusions
Zoro's exceptional focus on protecting Luffy seems to have caused him to forego some offensive opportunities. This is the main sense in which Zoro was nerfed.


Summary (Chapter 1003)
  • 90% of the actions Zoro took in the first 4 chapters of the Rooftop battle have been in his role as Luffy's bodyguard.
  • Zoro has saved Luffy 7 times so far.
    • Chapter 1001: 1 time
      • He saved Luffy from Mama's Heavenly Fire
    • Chapter 1002: 1 time
      • He saved Luffy from Kaido's Boro Breath
    • Chapter 1003: 5 times
      • He saved Luffy from Kaido three times
        • Tatsumaki
        • Dragon chomp
        • Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction
      • He saved Luffy from Mama twice
        • Motherly Fire
        • An off-panel attack
  • Zoro has ignored offensive opportunities to focus on protecting Luffy
    • He only launched Hiryuu Kaen as a counter to Kaido's Boro Breath.
    • He only launched Kokujo Ou Tatsumaki to rescue Luffy after Kaido had chomped on him.
    • He ignored the challenge Kaido directly posed at him with Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction.


Interlude: P0ll
Here are the questions for the p0ll:
  1. Do you agree that Zoro has been exceptionally devoted to protecting Luffy?
  2. Do you agree that Zoro has sacrificed offensive opportunities to focus on defending Luffy?
  3. Do you think that Zoro's extraordinary focus on defence has nerfed the offensive capability he could bring to bear?


Conclusion
Zoro has been exceptionally devoted to protecting Luffy as his bodyguard. As such, Zoro has never mounted an independent offensive (aside from his initial Rengoku Oni Giri). He's been focusing on defense this whole time. This may have restricted the offensive capabilities he could bring to bear. An example of this is when Zoro ignored Kaido's challenge with Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction so he could keep Luffy safe.

The Yonkou have yet to feel the might of a Zoro entirely dedicated to offence.


~Snip~
 
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Cinera

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#11
Well if he hadn't protect luffy I would be surprised this is not a one vs one fight it's a group fight he has to have his back + after all he done to get strong e protect luffy's dream and the crew I would have been disappointed if he didn't. So yes I don't think he was nerfed
I said No to number 3 just for the fact he has had his offensive opportunites and IMO protecting Luffy has not held back his opportunities
Zoro has been nerfed, in the sense that he's ignored offensive opportunities to focus on protecting Luffy:
  • He only launched Hiryuu Kaen as a counter to Kaido's Boro Breath.
  • He only launched Kokujo Ou Tatsumaki to rescue Luffy after Kaido had chomped on him.
  • He ignored the challenge Kaido directly posed at him with Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction.

Kaido challenged Zoro directly with Tatsumaki: Gale of Destruction. Zoro could have tried to counter that attack. Instead, he completely ignored Kaido's challenge and ran away with Luffy. This was an offensive opportunity that Zoro directly let go because he was babysitting Luffy.

How many other attacks has Zoro not taken because he was so devoted to protecting Luffy? How many more opportunities has he let go?

The opportunity cost of protecting Luffy has been Zoro sacrificing several opportunities to attack Mama or Kaido.

Even aside from the counterfactual attacks that Zoro let go, a majority of the other attacks he launched were only launched when protecting Luffy:
  • Hiryuu Kaen
    • It was launched as a counter to the Boro Breath Kaido used to try and take down Luffy.
  • Kokujo Ou Tatsumaki
    • It was launched to rescue Luffy from being eaten by Kaido.
The only attack Zoro took independently from his role of protecting Luffy was his initial Rengoku Oni Giri.

Had Zoro not needed to save Luffy those two times, he would probably have never launched those attacks. Zoro has mainly gone on the offensive when it was necessary to rescue Luffy. This reiterates again, that Zoro's top priority has been protecting Luffy.

Zoro's exceptional focus on protecting Luffy seems to have caused him to forego some offensive opportunities. This is the sense in which Zoro was nerfed.
 
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#12
@Cinera

I know we almost always have opposing opinions, but I have to admit that your threads are excellent and very well exposed.

Back to the question, yes he has been devoted in protecting Luffy (I would expect no less from the "unofficial vice-captain") but I don't think that's nerfing Zoro. There is still a lot of combat ahead and Luffy will no longer need protection and the two can focus on defeating Kaido.
 
#15
the flying dragon blaze attack is not a flying slash but it still showcased a massive increase in zoro's strength compared to when he faught pika, remember tactic no: 1 was about sending a flying slash to take him down but zoro said that it's power will diminish because he's too far away, but now he's able to turn a close range attack into An intercontinental ballistic missile.
Post automatically merged:

oda nerfed zoro by not making him learn advanced ryou
 

Finalbeta

Science Nerd 🌌 🌍 🧬 βš›οΈ
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#18
It's honestly Embarrassing how Luffy still acts so reckless after Marineford. Zoro Should confront him about this after Wano.
The man didn't change enough. His brother's death should have substantially contributed in changing the stakes but apparently it didn't.

Of course I think the very fact that Zoro never relied on Asura during Post Skip so far should constitute one of the most robust indicators speaking of the OP.
 
#19
it's a nerf on him, it's a nerf on him like no other on the roof has, as Sasaki mentions something similar here when Yamato tries to fight him while trying to watch out for Shinobu/Momo:


Kid Law even Killer and Luffy even tbh. They all have only one thing on their mind right now that's taking down Kaido.
That's their only focus. Not to say Kid doesn't care if Killer get's hurt..

But Zoro's mentally like being in two place at once, he watching for Kaido and Big Mom like the rest of 'em, but he's also watching for Luffy.

That's why he has such extra-ordinary showings of getting the captain back, which Killer has not even shown, nor anyone really on the roof. Maybe even as far back as Zou, when Sanji ran off, he decided that he must fight alongside carefree Luffy against Yonkou.
 

Cinera

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#20
it's a nerf on him, it's a nerf on him like no other on the roof has, as Sasaki mentions something similar here when Yamato tries to fight him while trying to watch out for Shinobu/Momo:


Kid Law even Killer and Luffy even tbh. They all have only one thing on their mind right now that's taking down Kaido.
That's their only focus. Not to say Kid doesn't care if Killer get's hurt..

But Zoro's mentally like being in two place at once, he watching for Kaido and Big Mom like the rest of 'em, but he's also watching for Luffy.

That's why he has such extra-ordinary showings of getting the captain back, which Killer has not even shown, nor anyone really on the roof. Maybe even as far back as Zou, when Sanji ran off, he decided that he must fight alongside carefree Luffy against Yonkou.
Well said. Thanks so much for this, I'll be adding this to the opening post.
 
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